DOMESTIC:

Central Bank publishes Brexit Frequently Asked Questions

The Central Bank has published a set of frequently asked questions in relation to Brexit (Brexit FAQs) which aim to provide general information to financial services firms considering relocating from the UK to Ireland. The Brexit FAQs cover a range of topics including: approach to new authorisation applications; substance requirements; outsourcing back to the UK; fitness and probity requirements; centralised risk management (and booking) in the UK or elsewhere; internal models already approved by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (the PRA). The Central Bank intends to regularly update its Brexit FAQs as Brexit negotiations progress and new issues emerge.

Central Bank publishes its 2017 Report on Protected Disclosures

The Central Bank published its report for 2017 in relation to the number of protected disclosures it received pursuant to the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. Seventy-nine protected disclosures were made to the Central Bank during the period of 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 and they set out that the matters were investigated with action taken where necessary.

Central Bank updates Prudential Requirements for Payment Institutions

The Central Bank has updated Part 4, General Supervisory Issues, of the Prudential Requirements for Payment Institutions authorised under S.I. No 383 of 2009.

EUROPEAN:

European Commission publishes guidelines on Key Information Documents as required for the PRIIPs Regulation

The European Commission published guidelines on Key Information Documents (KIDs) for packaged retail and insurance based investment products (PRIIPs) in the Official Journal on 7 July 2017. The guidelines do not create new legal rules; rather, they aim to assist in the interpretation of existing requirements. On the same date, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published their first set of Questions and Answers on KIDs for PRIIPs. The purpose of the Questions and Answers are to encourage common supervisory approaches in relation to how KID requirements are implemented across the EU.

European Supervisory Authorities advise on PRIIPs with environmental or social objectives

On 28 July 2017, the ESAs submitted technical advice to the European Commission on minimum requirements for PRIIPs with environmental or social objectives (EOS PRIIPs). The advice recommends that EOS PRIIPs manufacturers should: clearly specify the relevant environmental or social objectives being pursued and document an appropriate and proportionate strategy on how to achieve them, disclose those objectives and how they will be achieved to retail investors, implement appropriate governance and monitoring arrangements and conduct regular reviews on the progress made in achieving EOS PRIIPs objectives.

European Banking Authority publishes Final Guidelines on authorisation and registration under the Payment Services Directive II

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published its final guidelines on the information to be provided by applicants intending to obtain authorisation as payment and electronic money institutions as well as to register as account information service providers (AISP) under Payment Services Directive II (PSD II). In particular the guidelines provide further specification of the detailed documentation that must be submitted to national competent authorities (NCAs) in order to be authorized or registered. As the information requirements vary depending on the service provided the guidelines are divided into sections for payment institutions, AISPs, electronic money institutions and NCAs.

European Banking Authority publishes Final Guidelines on Professional Indemnity Insurance under PSD II

The EBA has published its final guidelines on the criteria setting out the minimum monetary amount of Professional Indemnity Insurance or comparable guarantee which will be required as a prerequisite for payment service providers seeking authorisation under PSD II. The minimum amount will be calculated by adding the amounts that are reflective of the risk profile criterion, the type of activity criterion, and the size of activity criterion respectively. The guidelines will apply from 13 January 2018.

Consultation launched on the future EBA Register as required by PSD II

The EBA launched a consultation on the draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) on the EBA electronic central register which is mandated by Article 15 of PSD II. The RTS will set the requirements on the development, operation and upkeep of the register and the ITS will prescribe the information that will be required to be contained on the register. The consultation will close on 18 September.

European Banking Authority publishes Final Guidelines on major incident reporting under PSD II

The guidelines published by the EBA set out the criteria to be adopted by payment service providers (PSPs) when determining whether operational or security incidents are major and therefore should be notified to their NCA. Additionally, the guidelines provide the template that PSPs should use when submitting reports and indicates what reports are required by an incident. The guidelines also address what information should be shared by NCAs once an incident is reported. The guidelines apply to all PSPs and NCA and will apply from 13 January 2018.

European Commission launches consultation on the revision of the EU Consumer Law Directives

Following the recent fitness check of consumer and marketing law and evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive the Commission has launched a consultation in relation to the consumer law directives. The consultation targets very specific issues that arose in the review including increasing transparency when concluding contracts on online platforms, the extension of consumer rights for online services where consumers provide data instead of paying with money and more effective remedies for breaches of consumer laws.

The consultation will run until 8 October 2017.

European Supervisory Authorities consult on amendments to technical standards on the mapping of External Credit Assessment Institutions

The Implementing Regulations on the mapping of credit assessments of External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAIs) for credit risk is being amended in order to recognise five new credit rating agencies and to deregister another CRA. Only credit ratings issued by ECAIs can be used for calculating capital requirements of financial institutions and insurance undertakings. The Implementing Regulations will, therefore, need to be amended to reflect the allocation of appropriate risk weights to the newly established ECAIs and to remove the reference to the de-registered ECAI. The consultation will run until 18 September 2017.

European Commission launches consultation on transparency and fees in cross-border transactions

Following the Commission's publication of its action plan on consumer financial services in March, they have launched a consultation in order reduce the costs of cross border payments in the EU and to enhance the transparency of such payments. The consultation looks at two areas in particular; the cost of transaction fees and the cost of currency conversions. The consultation will run until 30 October 2017.

European Systemic Risk Board publish their Annual Report for 2016

In its annual report of 2016 the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) characterised 2016 as a year of low economic growth and low interest rates and highlighted four main risks to the Financial Stability of the EU; re-pricing of risk premia in global financial market, weaknesses in balance sheets of banks, insurers and pension funds debt sustainability challenges in sovereign, corporate and household sectors and shocks from the non-bank financial sectors to the wider financial system. Their report continued to look at the policies they employed in order to address the risks that were identified and they reviewed measures taken to comply with their recommendations.

Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1158 of 29 June 2017 are published in the Official Journal

Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law was published in the Official Journal on 28 July 2017. The Directive will enter force on 17 August 2017.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1158 of 29 June 2017 laying down implementing technical standards with regards to the procedures and forms for competent authorities exchanging information with the European Securities Market Authority as referred to in Article 33 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Market Abuse Regulation) was published in the Official Journal. The regulation entered into force on 20 July 2017.